Sigmoid diverticulosis does not present any symptoms; however, if the diverticula become infected and inflamed, escalating the condition to diverticulitis, symptoms include alternating constipation and diarrhea, painful cramps in the lower abdomen, and fever or chills. Diverticulosis is the name of the condition where small pockets, called diverticula, form in the bowel lining. Sigmoid diverticulosis is the most common form of the condition, when diverticula form in the lining of the lower colon, called the sigmoid colon, explains WebMD.
Around 20 percent of individuals with diverticulosis go on to experience diverticulitis or the condition's other common complication, rectal bleeding. Diverticula form when waste, gas, liquid or another factor exerts pressure on weakened parts of the intestinal wall. They may occur from straining during movements, and can be pea-sized or significantly larger, according to WebMD.
Patients with diverticulosis, sigmoid or otherwise, do not require treatment, but should adopt a high-fiber diet to avoid forming more diverticula. Treatment for diverticulitis may include antibiotics and pain relievers, and maintaining a bland or clear-liquid diet low in fiber until pain subsides and then increasing fiber intake. In extreme cases, treating diverticulitis may require surgery. Complications of diverticulitis can be severe, including tearing of the intestinal wall, abscesses and intestinal blockage. These complications may require surgical treatment, notes WebMD.